A gas pipeline project between Turkey and Israel is being discussed secretly and behind the scenes, as an alternative to Russian energy supplies to Europe, according to Israel’s I24 network.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said cooperation in the field of gas “is one of the most important steps that we can take in order to improve relations with Israel.”
However, it will take complicated maneuvering to reach any agreement, according to government and sector officials from both countries.
According to an Israeli network I24 report, the idea is to build a subsea pipeline from Turkey to the Leviathan field, Israel’s largest offshore natural gas field, which supplies gas to Israel, Jordan and Egypt. The gas will flow to Turkey and southern European countries looking to Diversify gas sources away from Russia.
Last year, the European Union imported 155 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, which covers about 40% of its countries’ consumption.
Last week, the Turkish president said that gas cooperation was “one of the most important steps we can take together for bilateral relations,” and Erdogan told reporters that he was ready to send senior ministers to Israel to revive the pipeline project.
For his part, a high-ranking Turkish official told Reuters that talks have continued since Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Ankara earlier this month, and that “concrete decisions” could come in the coming months regarding the proposed path and the participating entities.
Israeli Energy Minister Karen Al-Harrar told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Sunday that many things were not discussed, including financial affairs, stressing “the need to find economic feasibility in the project.”